Fake conservatives

First, for your holiday pleasure, Stefan Molyneux interviews Paul Joseph Watson. Two of the greats in breaking down the MSM monopoly on the news.

But the MSM has retains an astoniishing level of power in spite of the fact that everyone on our side will tell you that the are operatives of the left. That anyone takes the Russia hacked the election seriously does truly make me see how Donald Trump’s presidency will be battered by one stupid meme after another. These people must think conservatives, or the right in general with nitwits like Paul Ryan to the front, are ridiculous. Putin certainly thinks they’re idiots. From Drudge:

 
Which comes along with these:

 
Take it seriously and there will be another scandal along just as stupid at the next turn of the news cycle. It really is bizarre, but it also makes me think that no matter what, we are going to lose because our side has no idea of what they are up against or how to fight for keeps. But with Watson and Molyneux on the beat, and many others like them, there is still hope.

Extremely dangerous lies

lameduck

They first pretend that Trump won because of Russian hacking, they imply that hacking means that the Russians manipulated voting machines, and now take this out and out falsehood to a very dangerous international level. They are utterly deranged, who cannot understand the reality that they lost because they are a reprehensible lot who do not deserve to govern.

Looking back on 2016 and ahead to 2017

Is it permissible to quote Gavin McIness? Very possibly not, but nonetheless:

We used to consider the possibility it’s all our fault. We elected a black president and begged him to fix the mess we’re told we created. When it got worse, liberals had to fabricate prejudice and hatred out of thin air. That didn’t work and so Trump won. It’s still going to take a while for these mentally ill zealots to realize the jig is up. Their entire existence was predicated on the lie that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, ableist, xenophobic hellhole. That’s a lot of unraveling to do. Until then, we’ll be right here making America great again.

And then looking forward to 2017: Some New Year’s Resolutions for Our Progressive Pals. From which:

Keep Reaffirming the Racism/Sexism/Homophobia and Other Moral Failings of Everyone Who Doesn’t Obey the Rigid Yet Constantly Mutating Laws of Political Correctness: It’s vital that you continue, at every turn, to label normal Americans “racists,” “sexists” and all the other “-ists” and “-phobes” in your Big Book O’ Liberal Slurs. Remember, concerns about crime are secret dog whistles to the tens of millions of wannabe KKK members lurking out there. Americans actually love being robbed! You know why we pretend we don’t like dismembering babies and selling their parts? Because we hate strong women. You caught us! And having people smash airplanes into buildings and open fire at random citizens are just a few of our favorite things. We only blame these acts on the radical Muslims who are actually doing them because of our unreasoning hatred of Muslims. There’s no fooling you! If we weren’t such Islamophobes, we’d focus on the bloody death toll from those radical Baptists. So keep it up, and never, ever, pass up an opportunity to tell normal Americans how they fail to meet your exacting standards. With enough abuse, those Trump voters you lost last time will definitely come around and start supporting Democrats again!

You should read both through end to end. They are both satirical and very well done, but only people who come to sites like this will see the point. They’re funny, but election or no election, they are still running the asylum. These nutters really think we’re just like they imagine us to be.

A house divided against itself cannot stand

What we are seeing is the Hillary administration in a hurry. These were the plans that have now been scuttled and there must be more they will find difficult to wedge but will do so if they can. These people are insufferable, but at least they are about to vacate the presidency. Meanwhile, however:

Kerry Rebukes Israel, Calling Settlements a Threat to Peace
KERRY: ‘ISRAEL CAN EITHER BE JEWISH OR DEMOCRATIC’…
UN ABSTENTION REFLECTED ‘OUR VALUES’…
Inside coming battle between USA and UN…
MAG: ACHIEVED NOTHING EXCEPT DAMAGED RELATIONS…

From the last of these:

In the Obama administration’s waning days, global challenges to American interests abound. In Syria, which will be a bloody stain on the reputations of Barack Obama and John Kerry, the killing continues. The effort to free Mosul from ISIS is slowing. The rise of Iranian influence in the Gulf and the Levant, of China in Asia and the western Pacific, and of Putin’s Russia in both Europe and the Middle East, all continue. One might have thought any of these could be the subject of a final address by the president or the secretary of state.

But one would have been wrong. John Kerry delivered what is probably the last major speech of the Obama administration Wednesday, and its subject was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and especially the growth of Israeli settlements. So the Obama administration ends where it began: obsessed with Israelis and Palestinians as if their struggle were the key to peace in the entire region, and with construction of homes in settlements and in Jerusalem as if it were the major roadblock to a peace agreement.

Lasting damage, but some relief is on the way:

Bibi punches back
Trump urges Israel to ‘stay strong’…

You would like to think everyone agrees on this, but : this is a very sobering article in which we find:

From the Daily Mail:

President Obama’s job approval rating is a healthy 58 per cent as he begins his glide path out of office, but that number hides a partisan split among Americans that’s wider than any outgoing president has seen since at least the 1960s.

During a November 17 press conference in Germany, Obama claimed that ‘based on current surveys of public opinion in the United States, it turns out that the majority of Americans think I’ve done a pretty good job.’

But that assessment hides a deep divide: While 88 per cent of Democrats told Pew Research Center pollsters that they have a favorable view of Obama’s work in the Oval Office, just 15 per cent of Republicans agree.

That gap – 73 per cent – is far larger than what Gallup polls recorded at the end of the Reagan and Clinton administrations, and as both George Bushes prepared to leave the White House.

Obama’s average approval rating across all eight years of his presidency also shows the largest partisan breach measured since opinion surveys began separating data by political party affiliation during the Eisenhower administration.

The 73-point party gap is the largest ever measured since pollsters started recording approval ratings during the Eisenhower years. There is such a huge gap between the left and the right now, it is staggering and frankly, frightening. When you see such a disparity between political entities within a country, it usually means you are on the cusp of a civil revolt of some sort. I’m hoping and praying that President-elect Donald Trump can fix enough of the damage to stop that from happening here. The communists have been successful in tearing us apart and causing upheaval and chaos. Thank God Hillary Clinton did not get elected… she would have finished us off, I have no doubt of that.

But whether Hillary is president or not, these people have little apparent ability to change their minds or learn from experience, and they are not going anywhere.

Reading lists

This is reading time at the beach or on the plane or just because. All suggestions welcome. Let me meantime recommend Michael Lewis’s The Undoing Project: a Friendship that Changed the World. It’s about the story of two psychologists who systematically looked at how decision makers systematically make errors. You read it, you will never listen to your doctor in the same way. Also, from the recent past, there is The Swerve: How the World became Modern, the best book with the worst title but a book I think of often. Anyway, some thoughts on reading from an unlikely source.

Just before Marine Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis was getting ready to deploy with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to Iraq in early 2004, one of his colleagues asked him about the importance of reading for military officers who sometimes found themselves “too busy to read.”

The legendary general sometimes referred to as “The Warrior Monk” carted around a personal library of 6,000 books with him everywhere, and he had plenty to say on the topic. His response went viral over email, in the days before Facebook and Twitter.

Military historian Jill R. Russell unearthed the email and posted it to the blog “Strife” by King’s College, London in 2013. With Mattis just chosen as President-elect Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary, it’s worth re-reading again, as it offers keen insight into the mind of Mattis.

Here’s what he wrote, on Nov. 20, 2003:

” . . . The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.

Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.

With TF 58, I had with me Slim’s book, books about the Russian and British experiences in AFG, and a couple of others. Going into Iraq, “The Siege” (about the Brits’ defeat at Al Kut in WW I) was required reading for field grade officers. I also had Slim’s book; reviewed T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”; a good book about the life of Gertrude Bell (the Brit archaeologist who virtually founded the modern Iraq state in the aftermath of WW I and the fall of the Ottoman empire); and “From Beirut to Jerusalem”. I also went deeply into Liddell Hart’s book on Sherman; and Fuller’s book on Alexander the Great got a lot of my attention (although I never imagined that my headquarters would end up only 500 meters from where he lay in state in Babylon).

Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. For all the “4th Generation of War” intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc, I must respectfully say, “Not really.” Alexander the Great would not be in the least bit perplexed by the enemy that we face right now in Iraq, and our leaders going into this fight do their troops a disservice by not studying (studying versus just reading) the men who have gone before us.

We have been fighting on this planet for 5,000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. “Winging it” and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession. As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don’t know a hell of a lot more than just the TTPs?

What happens when you’re on a dynamic battlefield and things are changing faster than higher HQ can stay abreast? Do you not adapt because you cannot conceptualize faster than the enemy’s adaptation? (Darwin has a pretty good theory about the outcome for those who cannot adapt to changing circumstance — in the information age things can change rather abruptly and at warp speed, especially the moral high ground which our regimented thinkers cede far too quickly in our recent fights.) And how can you be a sentinel and not have your unit caught flat-footed if you don’t know what the warning signs are — that your unit’s preps are not sufficient for the specifics of a tasking that you have not anticipated?

Perhaps if you are in support functions waiting on the warfighters to spell out the specifics of what you are to do, you can avoid the consequences of not reading. Those who must adapt to overcoming an independent enemy’s will are not allowed that luxury.

This is not new to the USMC approach to warfighting — Going into Kuwait 12 years ago, I read (and reread) Rommel’s Papers (remember “Kampstaffel”?), Montgomery’s book, “Eyes Officers,”“Grant Takes Command” (about the need for commanders to get along, “commanders’ relationships” being more important than “command relationships”), and some others. As a result, the enemy has paid when I had the opportunity to go against them, and I believe that many of my young guys lived because I didn’t waste their lives because I didn’t have the vision in my mind of how to destroy the enemy at the least cost to our guys and to the innocents on the battlefields.

Hope this answers your question…. I will cc my ADC in the event he can add to this. He is the only officer I know who has read more than I.

Semper Fi, Mattis

[My thanks to TMc]

Austrian economists continue to evade and avoid Say’s Law

There is a post at Mises.com titled, Ten Fundamental Laws of Economics. Here is the first:

1. Production precedes consumption

Although it is obvious that in order to consume something it must first exist, the idea to stimulate consumption in order to expand production is all around us. However, consumption goods do not just fall from the sky. They are at the end of a long chain of intertwined production processes called the “structure of production.” Even the production of an apparently simple item such as a pencil, for example, requires an intricate network of production processes that extend far back into time and run across countries and continents.

There is a trivial sense in which all of that is true but is there anything more to it? Honestly, who wouldn’t agree with the proposition that production precedes consumption. Keynesians would agree. Marxists would agree. Mainstream economists would agree. If someone is to consume, someone else must have produced, and behind all that production there must be an entire network of capital goods and inputs that were used to produce other inputs.

The proposition that is not stated is the one that counts: demand deficiency never leads to recession. The absence of demand for everything produced is never caused by the economy having produced more than others are willing to buy. This is Say’s Law, that there can be no such thing as a general glut.

Why don’t Austrians come out and state it just like that? I don’t know, but what I do know is that until they do, all of their discussion on how economies work and why recessions occur will have no impact on anyone else.

From my days in The Rebel Alliance

steve-kates-demo

Sent to me by an old old friend, also shown here. I have, of course, refused to pay the blackmail he has asked for to have the photo suppressed. My wife recognised me but I doubt anyone else would. This was definitely in a universe a long, long time ago.

IT’S A WISE SON THAT KNOWS HIS OWN FATHER ETC: I am happy to report, and not a little surprised, that my children could pick me out of the crowd with no trouble at all. I don’t think I’ve seen this photo for forty years but it has given me immense pleasure to see it all over again. It was at one time on the front page of The Globe & Mail, or so I recall.